'The Only Weapon I Have Is Reason'

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has spent five months as an awkward partner in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hawkish government. A Nobel Prize winner for his efforts to bring peace to the Mideast, Peres now has to defend Israel's sharpening response to Palestinian violence.

A Prosecutor's Hardest Case

As a preppie, a Princetonian and a University of Virginia law graduate, Robert Swan Mueller III would have been perfectly at ease in the clubby world of corporate law.

Tracking War Criminals

Carla del Ponte has been chief prosecutor of The Hague tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda since 1999. Her determination, her record and her no-nonsense style have won her respect in Western capitals but caused run-ins with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica.

Bin Laden's Poetry Of Terror

It was a family affair. In the wilds of southern Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden was throwing a lavish wedding celebration for his son Mohammed. Relatives flew in from all over the world for last month's banquet.

His Brother's Keeper

On that last frenzied Friday of Bill Clinton's presidency, as he prepared a list of nearly 140 pardons, one name stood out. And it wasn't Marc Rich, who was not added by Clinton until early the next day.

No Peace In The Streets

The setting was unmistakably Egyptian: a conference hall framed by the sparkling Red Sea on one side, and the vast, dust-dry Sinai on the other. But inside the room, the scene had all the trappings of the American imperium.

Declaration Delay?

It was supposed to be a banner day for the PLO Flag Shop in Gaza City. Back in July a representative from Yasir Arafat's protocol office placed an impressive order: 20,000 shiny Palestinian flags and 50,000 Arafat T shirts.

Espionage, Anyone?

In the halcyon days of the Mossad, even recruiting spies was a covert operation. Sometimes Israel's fabled secret service set up front companies to lure prospects.

Behind The Breakdown

If deeds can be measured by decibel level, this was Yasir Arafat's greatest moment. As the Palestinian leader arrived home from Camp David last week, a sweaty crowd of about 4,000 cheered him in the sun-blasted square of Gaza City. "Our state--Jerusalem the capital," they chanted.

The Price Of Peace

Sitting amid the squalor of the Deheisha refugee camp, Naeem Abu Aker holds up a rusty key. It is, he says, the key to the house near Jerusalem that he fled in 1948--to the 2,000 acres his family lost and their fragrant, never-forgotten apple orchards.

The Real Jerusalem

The Center Of Three Great Religions Struggles To Make Peace With Itself. The Myths, Realities, And Future Of An Ancient City.

'It's A Leap Into The Abyss'

Chalk it up again to the inverted logic of the Middle East peace process. You could almost chart the likelihood of a peace summit by the escalation of rhetoric from Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Jordan's Queen Of Hearts

It never occurred to queen Rania not to visit Saudi Arabia with her husband, King Abdullah. The fresh-faced Jordanian royal, at 29 the youngest queen in the world, knew the harshly conservative kingdom did not appreciate women's mingling in affairs of state--that women in Saudi Arabia weren't even allowed to drive.

Queen Of Hearts

It never occurred to Queen Rania not to visit Saudi Arabia with her husband, King Abdullah. The fresh-faced Jordanian royal, at 29 the youngest queen in the world, knew the kingdom to the south did not appreciate women mingling in affairs of state--women in Saudi Arabia aren't even allowed to drive.

'We Are Not Refugees'

Emil Manoud was tending his fruit trees on a warm spring day when his wife, Lara, came running. (The family's names have been changed to protect relatives who remain in Lebanon.) Tears were streaming down her face. "The Hizbullah are coming!" she cried.

Something Rotten In Palestine

For 17 days, Mahmoud Hamdouni sat in a dank Palestinian jail on trumped-up charges, brooding over the fortune he had hoped to make once peace came. Hamdouni had bought 30 acres of land in the desert outside the West Bank town of Jericho.

Bingeing On Ecstasy

At 3 in the morning, Elon Daizada is hanging out in front of Allenby 58, one of Tel Aviv's hottest dance clubs. With his spiked yellow hair, black jeans and white patent-leather shoes, he's preening before a flamboyantly dressed bouncer, hoping to be admitted.

Breaking The Wagner Taboo

Behind closed doors, the musicians of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gather to indulge in a forbidden pleasure: playing the music of Richard Wagner. But they don't dare play it in public.

A Rocket And A Hard Place

Their mission used to be clear. In the Rotem outpost, a massive hilltop bunker on the outer edge of the strip of South Lebanon occupied by Israel, metal signs painted blue and white—the colors of the Israeli flag—exhort soldiers from almost every wall: "Protect the Northern Border of Israel." But these days, in the twilight of Israel's involvement in this troubled land, another mission has become paramount: stay alive.

Tracking Bin Laden

The Kafkafa security prison sits high on a summit among the craggy hills of northern Jordan. It's visiting hour, and Khalil Deek is smiling broadly through an iron-mesh screen dividing prisoners from their families. "Thank you for taking an interest in the case," he says, fingering his bushy black beard.

Questions About Cash

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak stormed into office last May, it was after running a Bill Clinton-style campaign, complete with Washington spinmeisters and punchy sound bites.

The Plot Thickens

When Yussef Karroum drove his Chevrolet Celebrity station wagon across the border at Blaine, Wash., last Thursday at 9 a.m., he told Customs officials that he was entering the United States "to get gasoline, milk and cheese." Suspicious of the reply, Customs officers directed the 34-year-old Moroccan with a Canadian passport toward inspectors who punched his particulars into the immigration-service computer.

The Noisy Season

Two years ago Yoav Tsur got a bullet in the mail from Israeli extremists. "You dirty traitor," said the note that came with it. "We'll get you." But they haven't yet.

Americans On Alert

The car, a rented Chrysler 300, was the last in line to come off the boat from Victoria, British Columbia, at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles, Wash. When a U.S. Customs inspector started asking some routine questions, the driver appeared nervous.

A Separate Peace?

Each morning in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Arab workers pass through the Israeli checkpoint on their way to jobs in Jerusalem. At first it seems a picture of efficiency, as soldiers carefully scrutinize their entry and work permits.

Unsettling Israel

Tamar Goldes lives in a shipping container on a rocky cliff in the West Bank. She and a handful of other Jewish settlers claimed this remote outpost, Ahuzat Shalhevet, two months ago.

Facing More Fire At The Fbi

FBI director Louis Freeh is about to be embarrassed again by his own troops. On Capitol Hill, the FBI is already under fire for mishandling the investigation of Chinese espionage at the nuclear lab at Los Alamos, N.M.

A Fire That Won't Die

Among the many oddities surrounding the 1993 conflagration at Waco, Texas, there is the mystery of page 49. The story goes like this: after the disastrous siege that ended in the deaths of David Koresh and some 80 of his Branch Davidian followers, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered up an exhaustive investigation.

The Nuclear Spy Case Suffers A Meltdown

Warren Rudman had finally heard enough. Earlier this year, President Clinton asked the former Republican senator to review how the administration handled the case of Wen Ho Lee, the Los Alamos scientist suspected of leaking nuclear secrets to China.

The Handyman And His 'Voices'

In the end--after months of frustration and false leads--the Yosemite murder case broke open on a tiny piece of luck. On the evening of July 21, when naturalist Joie Armstrong was attacked by a knife-wielding psychopath at her home, a U.S. Park Service firefighter noticed a blue-and-white 1979 International Scout parked near her house.

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